Bill Carstanjen, CEO, Churchill Downs
The 2017 Kentucky Derby week set all-time records under Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen’s leadership, including bringing in $285 million in wagering dollars. Carstanjen first joined Churchill in 2005 as executive vice president, chief developmental officer and general counsel. He was elevated to president and COO in 2009, before being named the 12th CEO of the 143-year-old company in 2014. He has led efforts to renovate the historic facility, including the $37 million Starting Gate Suites to be completed before the next month’s Kentucky Oaks and Derby and a $32 million parking and transportation project.